Afghanistan is in a state of turmoil. Despite heavy bombing by the United States Air Force, the Taliban remains resilient as ever. The bombing seems to have no effect as the Taliban can strike at will anywhere in Afghanistan as was made evident from the two recent terror attacks in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. The attacks resulted in hundreds being killed and exposed the weakness of The Afghan government led by President Ghani. He has now called on the Taliban to come to the negotiating table for talks. VOA has reported that Ghani has offered to legitimize the Taliban as a Political Party and asked it to shed its culture of violence and join the Afghan government in talks to end the war which has been dragging on for 17 years.

Taliban and talks

The Taliban has from its office in Oman indicated that they are open to having direct talks with the United States. The organization, however, refuses to talk to the Kabul government, which it considers a puppet of the USA. This comes on the back of the recent heavy bombing by the USAF to pressure the Taliban to come to the negotiating table.

Vietnam

One is reminded of a similar situation in Vietnam in the early seventies when the United States mounted a heavy bombardment of the North codenamed "Linebacker II" to force North Vietnam to the negotiating table. The North did come to the negotiating table, but the result was a US withdrawal and complete collapse of the US-supported regime in South Vietnam, which was annexed by the North.

One shudders to think whether a similar scenario will be replayed in Afghanistan.

President Ghani has now offered unconditional talks. He has however said that women rights will not be discussed, but everything else is on the table. These are brave words, but with the United States stuck deep in Afghanistan and no victory in sight, he seems to have thrown in the towel.

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The Taliban know they are in control of the situation and have rejected talks with the Kabul government.

Treating Pak with kid gloves

The United States has recognized that no victory in Afghanistan will be possible until the Haqqani faction supported by Pakistan is neutralized. This cannot be done until their havens are attacked in Pakistan, and the government in Islamabad is made to realize the futility of supporting the Taliban.

The United States has been treating Pak with kid gloves, even when Pakistan sheltered Osama bin Laden for almost seven years, the US did nothing to Pakistan. Trump has a series problem on his hands, and several are wondering how he will solve it.